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    Monday, December 11, 2023

    The Buzz: Lusher, Maurice, Lucas, Maffeo, and Peck receive ECAR honors

    Lisa Maffeo, winner of the Rising Star award, gets her prize from Melissa Giangrasso, president of the Eastern CT Association of Realtors and an agent at Signature Properties of New England.
    Norman Peck
    Kelly Lucas
    Marilyn Lusher
    Dustin Maurice

    The Eastern Connecticut Association of Realtors honored Marilyn Lusher as its 2023 Realtor of the Year during its annual Awards Banquet on June 14 at The Spa at Norwich Inn in Norwich, where recognition also went to the Realtor Affiliate, Young Professional, Rising Star and Commercial Realtor of the Year.

    Lusher, part of the RE/MAX Legends group in Waterford, is now ECAR’s 2023 nominee for the state Realtor of the Year Award. She is a past president of ECAR, who its 2013 Realtor of the Year award and in 2021 was named state Realtor of the Year.

    Dustin Maurice of Green Home Solutions in Groton is the 2023 Affiliate of the Year. He serves on the Niantic and Waterford Power of Together groups, volunteers with the TBBCF Walk and the Ryan Daigle Foundation, is a Mystic Chamber Ambassador, and new member of the Greater Norwich Chamber of Commerce.

    Kelly Lucas, of CR Premier Properties in East Lyme, is the 2023 Young Professional of the Year. Lucas has been an ECAR member since January 2021, is an active member and program director of the Women’s Council of Realtors and was named the 5 Star Rising Professional through her former company two years in a row.

    Lisa Maffeo, of Signature Properties of New England in Oakdale, is the 2023 Rising Star of the Year. She is currently the treasurer of Southeastern CT Women's Network, a member of the Southeastern CT Women's Council of Realtors and treasurer of The Thames Club.

    Norman Peck, of Pequot Commercial in Niantic, is the 2023 Commercial Realtor of the Year. Well known in the area as a top producer, Peck serves on the East Lyme Zoning Commission and is actively involved with the East Lyme Historical Society, Niantic Rotary and East Lyme Plan of Conservation & Development Committee.

    Jobs & Employment

    Spherion Staffing and Recruiting in Connecticut has announced that it is hiring for more than 80 jobs in packing, manufacturing and customer service roles at warehouse centers in Eastern Connecticut.

    With starting wages ranging from $16.50 to $20-plus per hour, the open positions are entry-level with no experience required and offer the opportunity to train in a new skillset. First, second and third shift options are available.

    Apply online at the following link https://www.spherion.com/apply/75751 or call (706) 868-0911. For more information about Spherion, visit www.spherion.com/brooklyn.


    Architectural Metals LLC in Mystic recently completed the Veteran Institute Procurement Aerospace Program, a comprehensive training program designed to accelerate the success of service-disabled and veteran-owned small businesses in the federal aerospace market.

    Architectural Metals, owned by Aaron Smith, was one of 43 businesses from 20 states to graduate from the VIP program. The first program of its kind in the nation, VIP Aerospace is conducted by subject matter experts from industry and government with a goal of accelerating the participants’ success to enter and expand in the aerospace market through best business practices.

    For additional information, visit www.NationalVIP.org

    Events & Meetings

    The Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce will hold a Young Professionals event at Forty Thieves, 171 Bridge St., from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 27.

    Networking opportunities and complimentary professional headshots will be available in the first hour, as well as hors d'oeuvres, drinks and door prizes in a casual atmosphere.

    To register, visit mysticchamber.org. To join the Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce, call (860) 572-9578, email krystamurray@mysticchamber.org or visit GMCC in person at 22 E. Main St. above HJ Smith Inc.

    The Greater Norwich Area Chamber of Commerce will hold a new member Meet & Greet at 8 a.m. Friday, July 7, at La Stella Italian Market, 137 Norwich Ave., Taftville.

    Scholarship & Grants

    The Stonington Community Center awarded a total of $54,450 in scholarships this year to 43 applicants from the six college scholarship funds the COMO manages.

    This year’s awards went to:

    Hendricks Whitman Award and Scholarship: Jacob Delmonaco. The Whitman Award is awarded to a member of the Stonington Community Center who best exemplifies qualities of leadership and citizenship.

    Mary H. Boatwright Endowment Fund: Jackson Conlon, Oliver Cooke, and William Fyke; Robert and Doris Ramsbotham Scholarship Endowment: Elias Dahl, Nikhil Desai, Madison Geiger, and Krista Jones; Frank Turek Scholarship Endowment Fund: William Banfield, Luke Costanzo, Olivia Fustini, Abigail Gibson, and Theodore Leamon; The Josh Piver Memorial Scholarship Fund: Kelsea Anderson, William Fyke, Tori LoPresto, Chloe Main, Bailey McCarney, and Conrad Tobiassen;

    Also, Francis Drake Endowment Fund: Sandra Allen-Fernandez, Kelsea Anderson, Sarah Berger, Alexandra Canty, Giulianna Caradimos, Anders Dahl, Jacob DelMonaco, Bobbie Doherty, David Duguay, Elizabeth Fowler, Chase Gouvin, Eleanor Gross, Helen Gross, Connor Hultgren, Heaven Hurd, Ray Jones, Tori LoPresto, Joshua Lord, Etta Lund, Bailey McCarney, Emma Morrison, Carleigh O’Keefe, Diya Patel, Adam Rajab, Mahmoud Salha, Sarah Schoenecker, Emma Spathakis, Corinne Steeno, Sage Stefanski, Conrad Tobiassen, and Clay Walker.

    For more information, visit www.thecomo.org/scholarships.

    The Chelsea Groton Foundation this spring awarded $202,950 to 73 non-profit organizations from Connecticut and Rhode Island.

    Projects granted funding include $7,500 to Higher Edge, $5,000 to WARM Center for Anita’s Kitchen food programs, $4,750 to Riverfront Children’s Center for Scholar Dollars, $4,000 to Eastern Connecticut Workforce Investment Board for summer youth employment, and $5,000 to Garde Arts Center for PACE: Partners – Arts, Community, Education.

    More information, including a list of all spring grant recipients and how to apply during the fall grant cycle, is available at chelseagroton.com/CGFoundation.


    The Uptown Gallery at Finer Line has announced that its newly renovated gallery space upstairs will now feature works by Signature and Fellow Members of the American Society of Marine Artists including Don Demers, James Magner, Del-Bourree Bach, Jacqueline Jones, Loretta Krupinski, and sculpture artist, Kim Shaklee. Also upstairs is the Russ Kramer Gallery.

    The gallery is holding a “Meet the Artist” event from 4-7 p.m. Saturday, July 8, with a ribbon cutting by the Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce at 5 p.m.

    The Finer Line Gallery and Framers of the Lost Art, owned by Donna Williston, is in its 38th year at 48 W. Main St. For information, visit www.finerlinegallery.com.


    Bob’s Discount Furniture celebrated the 25th anniversary of its Taftville Distribution Center June 21.

    Notable attendees include Bill Barton, president and CEO; Ramesh Murthy, chief supply chain officer, and Eric Adelstein and Pete Sorrentino, senior vice presidents.

    As part of the celebration, Bob’s had check presentations of $2,500 each to St. Vincent de Paul Place, Taftville Volunteer Fire Dept., and the Norwich Police Benevolent Association Post #2.

    Mystic-based Avalonia Land Conservancy and the Connecticut Land Conservation Council will cosponsor a celebration 11 a.m. Saturday, July 8, at Cedar Wood Preserve, 180 North Wawecus Hill Road, Norwich. The event will honor Avalonia for receiving the Council’s 2023 Excellence in Community Engagement Award.

    A guided walk on the upper trails of the preserve will follow the ceremony. Both ceremony and walk will be amplified and sign language-interpreted.

    The award recognizes Avalonia’s commitment to establishing accessibility for people with disabilities in regard to trails, communication, and policy. For more information, email Accessibility@avalonialc.org or call 860-884-3500. For Avalonia’s Accessibility Statement, go to: https://avalonia.org/accessibility-for-people-with-disabilities-statement/.


    The Mystic River Mudhead Sailing Association has registered its annual Mudhead Benefit Cup Regatta July 15 in support of Always Home as a certified Clean Regatta with the non-profit organization Sailors for the Sea.

    For the 15th year, The Mudheads will implement a system to decrease the use of plastic water bottles while also encouraging other ways to reduce waste. For more information or to register for the race, visit: www.mudhead.org.

    Always Home’s goal is to keep families housed and to help parents create lasting stability for their children.

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